Review: Skeleton in a Dead Space by Judy Alter

Skeleton in a Dead Space by Judy Alter

Series: Kelly O’Connor Mystery Series (# 1)
Release Date:  August 31, 2011
Page Count:  266 pages
Source:  ebook provided by the publisher
Kelly O’Connell never thought real estate was a dangerous profession, until she stumbled over a skeleton in a dead space in an early-twentieth-century Craftsman house she was transforming into coveted modern home in an older urban neighborhood. From that moment, she runs into teen-age gang members, a manipulative ex-husband, a needy and single pregnant friend, a cold-blooded murderer, and a policeman who wants to be more than her protector. As free-spirited as the chocolate-peanut-jalapeño candy she craves, Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman-boyfriend, protect her two young daughters, pacify her worried mother a thousand miles away, and keep her real estate business afloat. Too often she puts herself in danger, and sometimes it’s the girls, not Mike, who come to Kelly’s rescue.
Review:  I am a huge lover of cozy mysteries, so when I came across Skeleton in a Dead Space by Judy Alter and read the blurb, I was instantly intrigued!  Kelly sounded like an interesting character and the story line sounded like something that would hook me quickly.  Did it live up to my expectations?  

Somewhat.  I did enjoy the story line and the twists and turns that took place.  The writing was smooth and the suspense flowed well.  I loved the premise of the story with the discovery of a skeleton while doing renovations on an old style house before putting it on the market to sell.  With that being said, for some reason I had a really hard time liking the main character of Kelly.  To me, she seemed a bit on the rude and cold side.  Example?  When her best friend would call her for some emotional support/help, Kelly didn’t want to deal with it.   Granted she had her own thing going on, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.  Kelly did; however, exude kindness once in a while, but just seemed more on the snobby/unlikable side for me.  One character that I really did enjoy was Theresa, a young girl who was going through some difficult times and experiencing the angst of growing into adulthood and trying to stay out of the bad crowd.  I felt very close to her and truly found myself engrossed within her character and cheering her on.

Kelly’s two young daughters were adorable, strong and brave.  When their Dad, who had been out of their lives for some time, decides to enter back into their lives and stir things up for their Mom, they put on a brave face, and make no bones about their feelings to their Mom. 
All in all, Skeleton in a Dead Space was an enjoyable and intriguing read.  I do recommend it to lovers of cozy mysteries and think that it makes for a good read with some great twists and turns that pop up throughout.  The mystery surrounding the skeleton and Kelly’s search for answers to discover who this poor murdered and forgotten woman was was very well plotted out and written in a way that definitely held my interest and attention the entire way throughout the story.  For the most part, the characters were enjoyable and the writing of Judy Alter is extremely well done.  I do look forward to reading more by this author and encourage readers to give her a try.
Favorite Quote:  Boy, there was a side of Tim I didn’t see when he was in the office.  The people who worked for him didn’t like him.  Aloud I said, with some irony, “He’s going to protect me and the girls.”

“Yeah?  You best get yourself a gun – and use it on him first.”
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